Posted On: 01/27/18 10:44 AM
Eureka and Pacific High Schools are only a few miles apart, but they haven’t met on the basketball court in 16 years. That changed on Friday night when the schools from neighboring towns got together for a very competitive evening of hoops. Pacific got the best of the action in the first half in taking a seven-point halftime lead. In the second half, Eureka flipped the script and took control of the and held on to take a 73-69 victory.
Here is a look at the 10 Best from the Eureka-Pacific game:
MVP: Zach Summers (Eureka) – In the first half, the 6’5″ 2018 post scored only two points and could only sit and watch most of the action as he picked up two fouls in the first minute of the game. Eureka trailed 31-24 at halftime. Summers ended the game with 15 points as he dominated the action inside as Eureka turned the game around in the third quarter with him on the floor. He was a load in the paint and Pacific did not have an answer for him.
Best Offensive Player: Cameron Van Leer (Pacific), Avery Taggert (Eureka) – The 6’4″ 2018 Van Leer scored a game-high 21 points, including 12 in the first half to stake the Indians to their first half advantage. He is a very smooth point guard who can knock down jumpers, score on the drive and get low post buckets. He is also a very good passer.
Taggert, a sturdy 6’4 210-pound 2019 guard, is a Division I prospect in football as a tight end. He is also a very skilled basketball player with who scored a team-high 16 points. Just picture a big ol’ teddy bear with a nasty cross-over dribble and a smooth stroke from 3-point range who can also drop dimes. That’s Avery Taggert.
Best Shooter: Matt Strong (Pacific) – The 5’7″ 2018 guard scored 14 points and made four 3-pointers on the evening. He made two very long 3-pointers in the final minute of the game to give the Indians one final chance to pull the game out.
Best Free Throw Shooter: Trey Boyer (Pacific) – The 5’10” 2018 guard scored 19 points, but he was cash money from the free throw line as he made 14 of his 16 attempts from the charity stripe.
Unsung Player: Jordan Billingsley (Eureka) – The 5’10” 2018 point guard scored 13 points and came up big with some key offense when he team was hamstrung by foul trouble in the first half.
Best Defensive Player: Hassan Haskins (Eureka) – The University of Michigan football recruit came off the bench and provided an excellent defensive presence with his athleticism and shot blocking. He covered a lot of ground on defense and could hold his own inside with his physical strength.
Best College Prospect: Cameron Van Leer (Pacific) – The 6’4″ 2018 guard is a talented basketball player, but he is also a talent in golf as well. He is attracting interest from Division II schools in both sports. His combination of size and skill make him an attractive point guard.
Best Young Prospect: Jhalon Asher-Sanders (Eureka) – A 5’8″ 2020 guard who provided some quality minutes off the bench with his quickness and energetic play. He had one exciting coast to coast dash for a layup during the Wildcats’ big run in the third quarter.
Best Bench Player: Antonio Sanders (Eureka) – The 6’1″ 2019 guard came off the bench to score 10 energetic points. He scored off good backdoor cuts and also got easy baskets in the transition game. He also shot the passing lanes for a steal and an easy layup.
Key to Game: Eureka’s bench – The Wildcats were in quite a bind with early foul trouble, but they got some excellent play off the bench from players such as Antonio Sanders, Hassan Haskins and Jhalon Asher-Sanders, who provided 19 points and several big plays to contribute to the victory.